Thursday, September 12, 2013
What Putin Has to Say to Americans About
by Vladimir V. Putin
reposted from the New York Times, Opinion Pages
Recent events surrounding
prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political
leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication
between our societies. Syria
Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.
The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with
’s consent the veto by
Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international
relations for decades. America
No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the
of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This
is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military
action without Security Council authorization.
The potential strike by the
United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many
countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will
result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the
conflict far beyond ’s
borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism.
It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem
and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East
and Syria North Africa. It could throw the
entire system of international law and order out of balance.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
by Paul Craig Roberts
Washington has been at war for 12 years. According to experts such as Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, these wars have cost Americans approximately $6 trillion, enough to keep Social Security and Medicare sound for years. All there is to show for 12 years of war is fat bank balances for the armament industries and a list of destroyed countries with millions of dead and dislocated people who never lifted a hand against the United States.
The cost paid by American troops and taxpayers is extreme. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Erik Shinseki reported in November 2009 that “more veterans have committed suicide since 2001 than we have lost on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.” Many thousands of our troops have suffered amputations and traumatic brain injuries. At the Marine Corps War College Jim Lacey calculated that the annual cost of the Afghan war was $1.5 billion for each al-Qaeda member in Afghanistan. Many US and coalition troops paid with their lives for every one al-Qaeda member killed. On no basis has the war ever made sense.
Washington’s wars have destroyed the favorable image of the United States created over the decades of the cold war. No longer the hope of mankind, the US today is viewed as a threat whose government cannot be trusted.